Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Good News Tuesday

Today, back to one of my favorite topics — improvements in health and medicine.

Researchers build first functional vascularized lung scaffold

End-stage lung disease is the third leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 400,000 deaths per year in the United States alone…. “We reasoned that an ideal lung scaffold would need to have perfusable and healthy vasculature, and so we developed a method that maintains fully functional lung vasculature while we remove defective epithelial lining of the airways and replace it with healthy therapeutic cells. This ability to selectively treat the pulmonary epithelium is important, as most lung conditions are diseases of the epithelium.”

Promising!

Nanomachines that drill into cancer cells killing them in just 60 seconds developed by scientists

The tiny spinning molecules are driven by light, and spin so quickly that they can burrow their way through cell linings when activated….In one test conducted at Durham University the nanomachines took between one and three minutes to break through the outer membrane of prostate cancer cell, killing it instantly.

Science-fiction-y!

FDA Approves First Gene Therapy For Leukemia

The treatment involves removing immune system cells known as T cells from each patient and genetically modifying the cells in the laboratory to attack and kill leukemia cells. The genetically modified cells are then infused back into patients. It’s also known as CAR-T cell therapy….The treatment, which is also called CTL019, produced remission within three months in 83 percent of 63 pediatric and young adult patients. The patients had failed to respond to standard treatments or had suffered relapses. Based on those results, an FDA advisory panel recommended the approval in July.

Yay!

Why The Science World Is Freaking Out Over This 25-Year-Old’s Answer to Antibiotic Resistance

The headline is fairly ridiculous — less sensationalism, please, and more information, is that too much to ask? But this is still cool:

Shu Lam, a 25-year-old PhD student at the University of Melbourne in Australia, has developed a star-shaped polymer that can kill six different superbug strains without antibiotics, simply by ripping apart their cell walls….The polymers – which they call SNAPPs, or structurally nanoengineered antimicrobial peptide polymers – work by directly attacking, penetrating, and then destabilising the cell membrane of bacteria. Unlike antibiotics, which ‘poison’ bacteria, and can also affect healthy cells in the area, the SNAPPs that Lam has designed are so large that they don’t seem to affect healthy cells at all.

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